Photo gallery: Runners celebrate first anniversary of popular Norwich parkrun

The start of the Catton Parkrun's first anniversary run, with some in fancy dress. Picture: DENISE B

The start of the Catton Parkrun's first anniversary run, with some in fancy dress. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

People aged from five to 80 came together to help celebrate the first anniversary of the popular Catton parkrun in Norwich.

Nearly 200 people, many in fancy dress, took part in the run on Saturday? and there was a party in Catton Park afterwards with refreshments and fun activities to raise money for the Catton Park Trust, which maintains the park.

October 4 also marked the tenth anniversary of parkrun being launched nationally in the UK, and it was also International parkrun day.

Parkruns are free, timed 5km runs held every Saturday morning, in nine locations around Norfolk.

Organised entirely by volunteers, they're designed to make running fun and accessible for everyone – from people taking their first steps and walking the course, to regular runners who want to challenge their personal bests.

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Catton parkrun was set up a year ago by Broadland District Council and Active Norfolk.

Shelley Ames, from Active Norfolk, said: 'We normally get about 150 people taking part, but we had 196 people on Saturday.

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'We had people dressed as everything from batman, jedis, kids in dog onesies, Mr Incredible, Olly the elephant, musketeers, and policemen. We really pride ourselves on being a family environment and parents run with their children.'

Michael Armes has run on 48 of the 52 weeks and every other week he runs with his granddaughter, Elise Brant, who is three and a half-years-old.

The 49-year-old, who also runs with Norwich Road Runners club, said: 'It's friendly and there's a good atmosphere. By doing these parkruns my fitness has really improved.'

Broadland district councillor for the Old Catton and Sprowston West ward, Ken Leggett, 83, was instrumental in Catton Park being restored and opened to the public.

He said: 'I must have taken part in about 20 runs since it started. I walk the run.

'I'm so proud that something I played a small part in is now so popular and successful. I'm thrilled to see about 150 other people here every Saturday. You get a real cross section, all age groups. You can test yourself. I normally do it in about 45 to 50 minutes. It also helps to promote the park. About 35,000 people live within 1km of the park.'

Kyra Cornish, 12, and brother Luke, 10, from Hellesdon, try to take part every week. Kyra said: 'Our family and friends do it. We also volunteer at the park to help out.'

While she does the run in about 30 minutes, her younger brother does it in 21 minutes.

James Dunne, from Broadland District Council, said it had gone from strength to strength, while Hamish Melville, the council's head of economic development, said: 'We started with about 30 to 40 people and now have nearly 200. It's all about families taking part and exercise for all ages.'

Other parkrun locations around the county include Norwich, Gorleston, Blickling, Sheringham, Mulbarton, Fritton Lake, King's Lynn, and Thetford. Since January there have been almost 52,000 attendances in Norfolk alone, which averages out to more than 1,350 people lacing up their shoes for a parkrun in the county every Saturday morning.

For more information on your nearest parkrun or to register, visit

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